A 20-year-old dream came true on Thursday October 12 for the Finnish Ambassador as she welcomed people to the first Finnish Film Festival in Singapore. A whole week of Finnish films were lined up at The Projector, ready to bring some Finnish culture onto the Singaporean movie screen.
“I already brought my down jacket,” H.E. Paula Parviainen said in her welcoming speech, excited to escape back to the Scandinavian home country for a couple of hours. The film of the evening, “Little wing” – or in Finnish “Tyttö Nimeltä Varpu,” did also show the Finnish weather from its gloomy side, where every breath is visible in the air; a tender-hearted coming-of-age story shot in a low-key, realist style, by Selma Vilhunen.
During the week, six new Finnish pictures were shown, three documentaries and three features.
“They are all very different but all very Finnish,” the Ambassador said. The film festival is part of the big Finland 100-year celebration which purposes to build bridges between Finland and other countries, and an effective way of doing that is through films, according to Leena Hesselman, Executive Director, LapCI, Suomi Finland 100:
“Films are a very powerful way of showing a culture. Within two hours you can fly with different wings. It is a window out into the world, through which your horizon is enlarging.”
The audience of the evening did not only count Finnish people, also Singaporeans were present and the Nordic cinematic style were appreciated by locals, as well:
“The style is very artistic. I sense a lot of cinematographic photography – similar to Woody Allen’s films. It is simple scenes, where the composition of the subjects, the conversation, and the nature are the special effects,” Jim Hu, nature photographer, said.
Even though Finland only turns 100 this year, the film festival will hopefully return next year, Leena Hesselman, Executive Director, LapCI, Suomi Finland 100, said.
In her speech, the Executive Director also gave thanks to the six sponsors of the festival, counting The Embassy of Finland Singapore, The Finnish Film Foundation, Suomi Finland 100, Tallink Silja Line, Abloy, and Laitilan in addition to The Projector for curating the films.